Skip to main content

Full text of "Rapid Population Growth Consequences And Policy Implications"

See other formats


possible to accomplish in less than 15 to 20 years. One reason is that accelerating rates of population growth and the low levels of secondary and higher education during the past 2 decades have resulted in a small proportion of potential teachers relative to the numbers of potential students. Teachers must be recruited from the smaller and more poorly educated cohorts of these past years, in some regions in the face of competition from industry and other sectors. Moreover, the increase in the percentage of the GNP used for education that is required to raise enrollment ratios can be attained only rather slowly in many countries, because it requires a reorganization of fiscal and tax procedures that may not be possible until the GNP becomes much larger than at present.
Savings in Enrollments Resulting from Reductions in Fertilitv. If the desired rise in enrollment ratios takes place over 20 years or more, the rate of growth of the school-age population will greatly affect the total numbers of children in school. This can be seen by analyzing the situation of a typical developing country in which the population of children 5 to 14 years old is increasing by 3 percent per year, and educational plans call for a rise in enrollment ratios from 40 percent at present to 95 percent after 20 years. If fertility remains constant over these 2 decades, the number of children in school at the end of the period will have increased by 338 percent. With a steady decline in fertility at a rate of 1.7 percent per year the increase will be 270 percent. If fertility declines by 3.3 percent per year for 15 years, the numbers of children in school will have increased only 206 percent. Thus the savings in enrollments resulting from sharply reduced fertility will be about 30 percent after 20 years. The effect after the first 10 years would be much smaller however—about 3 percent-because of the 5- to 6-year lag in the effect of a reduction in fertility rates on school-age population.
If the rise in enrollment ratios from 40 percent to 95 percent takes place over 30 years, the constant fertility projection gives a 517 percent rise in enrollment at the end of this period, whereas for a rapidly declining fertility the increase would be only 200 percent. A 51 percent saving in enrollment would be attained at the end of this period by the assumed rapid reduction in fertility. Fertility reduction would give a saving of only 3 percent at the end of the first 10 years, and 30 percent at the end of 20 years, just as in the previous case.
Effects of Declining Fertility on Costs of Education. The effects on future educational costs of declining fertility rates versus continuance of present high fertility are more difficult to visualize than the effect on future enrollments. A rise in enrollment ratios with continuing high fertility will require that an increasing percentage of GNP be devoted to education, even if GNP increases more rapidly than population. This results from the fact that the